February 20, 2009

Symposium to explore energy and the public sector

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will tackle the subject of local energy management and strategies in the latest in a series of symposiums on the future of energy.

The symposium, titled “Energy & the Public Sector: Energy Saving Techniques for Local Government,” is set for Tuesday, March 17, at John A. Logan College in the Tarvin & Crisp Rooms. It is part of the continuing “Connecting with the Future of Energy Series” sponsored by the University and Connect SI. The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and will conclude by 8 p.m., following a speaker and panel discussion.

John S. Mead, director of the Coal Extraction and Utilization Research Center at SIUC, said addressing public sector energy management is a key part of the discussion.

“We see public sector energy management as a very interesting topic because it involves so many Southern Illinoisans (including) the general public, users of government services, teachers and other public servants,” Mead said. “We want to explore areas of energy that may offer cost savings to local government and discuss opportunities for grants to support new energy practices.”

The event is the latest in a series started in fall 2007 by the University and Connect SI focused on the future of energy and coal. Previous topics have included coal mining and coal gasification, mine safety and biofuels, among others.

Brian Rodely, an official with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Protection Engineer Office, is the featured speaker for the event. Topics include infrastructure, energy conservation, working with local utility providers, fleet management and grant opportunities.

The event also includes a panel discussion among government officials and researchers. Panelists include:

• Carol Kulek, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

• Steve Lazorchak, electrical engineer, Plant and Service Operations, SIUC

• Jim Meadows, field operations, Illinois Office of the State Treasurer

• Tim Janello, assistant professor, Department of Automotive Technology, SIUC

Anyone interested in energy is welcome to attend the event, including lay people, elected leaders, educators and business people.

The event is free and open to the public and organizers encourage pre-registration. To pre-register, contact Man-Tra-Con Corp. at 618/998-0970, ext. 215; by fax at 618/998-1291, attention: Tammy Kirk; or by email at TammyKirk@mantracon.org. You can also write to Man-Tra-Con Corp. at 3000 W. DeYoung St., Suite 800-B, Marion, Ill., 62959.